DT 29278 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29278

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29278

Hints and tips by KiwiColin

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

A solo flight again this week. Grand-parental duties being the excuse.

While we have been enjoying warm dry conditions lately, further south, in the lower portion of the South Island where we were camping almost a year ago, they have been having torrential rain causing considerable flooding with lots of roads washed out and people needing helicopter evacuations. Just hope these weather systems don’t come this far north.

Another fine puzzle from Jay. It took me a little longer than usual (perhaps because I was solo) so I have given it 3 stars for difficulty.

 Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Soldiers on service account for killing (8)
MASSACRE: In the order they appear in the answer we have, a church service, the abbreviation for account and engineering soldiers.

5a     Condition after end of side effects (6)
ESTATE: The last letter of ‘side’ plus condition or circumstance.

9a     Proudly announces the last of recent short favourites (8)
TRUMPETS: The last letter of ‘recent’ a short that might be ordered in a bar and favourites or most liked.

10a     Returning students go wrong (4,2)
SLIP UP: When the answer is reversed and written as one word we find ‘students’.

12a     Keep changing mind as poorly during leave (9)
VACILLATE: A three letter word for poorly or unwell is inside leave or depart.

13a     Hurries, seeing evidence of unhappiness (5)
TEARS: Double definition. The latter are sometimes proverbially said to occur before bedtime.

14a     Pretty clever (4)
CUTE: Double definition.

16a     Mafia boss must stifle limitless appetite for prison! (7)
DUNGEON: Remove the first and last letters from another word for appetite and surround this with a Mafia boss.

19a     Go from bad to worse? (7)
RELAPSE:   To repeat an indiscretion.

21a     Damage caused by son in bed (4)
COST: A bed that might be occupied by an infant contains s(on).

24a     Bitter about Conservative purge (5)
SCOUR: Bitter or acidic surrounds C(onservative).

25a     Clone it and replace free (9)
REPLICATE: An anagram (free) of IT and REPLACE.

27a     Somewhat treasonous motive (6)
REASON: A lurker hiding in the clue.

28a     Deliberate volume of business cut in half (4,4)
TURN OVER: When the two words of the clue are joined together (not cut in half) we find ‘volume of business’.

29a     Substitute unknown by 13 in order (6)
ERSATZ: An anagram (in order) of the answer to 13a plus one of the letters used in mathematics for an unknown.

30a     Safety measure resulting from strike by constituency (4,4)
SEAT BELT: A constituency or place occupied by an MP and strike or hit.


1d     27 shift across this, oddly (6)
MOTIVE: The first and third letters of ‘this’ are inside a synonym for shift or displace.

2d     The origin of gravy, reportedly (6)
SOURCE: A homophone of a dressing added to food.

3d     A Scandinavian set up for shock (5)
APPAL: ‘A’ from the clue and the reversal of an inhabitant of a region in Finland.

4d     A touch below par, ultimately in fierce competition (3,4)
RAT RACE: The last letter (ultimately) of par, then ‘A’ from the clue and a touch or small amount.

6d     Rent objectives may be shock problem (5,4)
SPLIT ENDS: A rent or schism and objectives or aims.

7d     Ring in copy and finally asked for a review (8)
APPEALED: Ring or make a sound with a bell is inside a verb meaning to copy and then the final letter of ‘and’.

8d     Removing protection from wild pigeons — about ten (8)
EXPOSING: An anagram (wild) of PIGEONS contains the Roman numeral ten.

11d     Drop area covered by graduate teacher (4)
BEAD: The abbreviation for area is surrounded by the degree a teacher may hold.

15d     Uniform and hairdo in job at a higher level (9)
UPPERMOST: U(niform), then a type of hair styling is enclosed by a job or position.

17d     Keep quiet and hold back (8)
PRESERVE: The musical notation for quiet and hold back or retain for later.

18d     Losers from orchestra wearing type of sweater succeeded (4-4)
ALSO RANS: The orchestra based at the Barbican Centre is inside a type of sweater named for a Scottish an Irish island and finally s(ucceeded).

20d     Amateur offering to accept money (4)
EURO: A lurker hiding in the clue.

21d     Apprehension as fitting in therapy (7)
CAPTURE: A three letter word meaning ‘fitting’ is within a successful therapy.

22d     Pressure from palaver about silkworms, perhaps (6)
LARVAE: Remove the physics symbol for pressure from the word (p)ALAVER and anagram (about) what is left.

23d     Animal rights protected by measures (6)
FERRET: Measures of length used in the Imperial System surround the repeated use of r(ight).

26d     Popular idiot’s common supplementary question, right? (5)
INNIT: The two letter ‘popular’ and an idiot or dolt.

Lots to choose from again but my last one to get sorted was 7d so I’ll go with that for favourite.

Quickie pun    goes    +    Tories     =    ghost stories  

96 comments on “DT 29278

  1. I found this a little more difficult than the usual Wednesday puzzle (*** )from me too), particularly the SW and NE corners. It was quite enjoyable (***), although a few clues were rather vague compared to the usual Jay selection. I liked 29a a d 2d. Thanks to the setter and to the lone Kiwi for the hints.

    1. Pretty difficult for a Wednesday, but quite enjoyable (eventually!). I needed the hint to comprehend 28a, so thanks to Kiwi Colin for putting me out of my misery.

  2. 4.5*/4.5*. :phew: That was as hard a Jay puzzle as I can remember, particularly in the SW corner, but as ever very enjoyable.

    Podium? Pick any three randomly.

    Many thanks to Jay and Colin.

    P.S. I can recommend both today’s Toughie, which I found easier than this, and an excellent offering from Eccles (Snape) in the Indy. It’s a red letter day for crosswords!

  3. After the Toughie this was a slog and not much fun.

    I do not understand 1d as the answer is already in the 27a it quotes.

    Good luck with the weather Kiwi Colin.

    1. My guess is that the clue for 27a was tweaked after 1d had been written, inadvertently giving away the latter.

      Do you people it’ll stay like that all day, or is this one of those occasions where 27a will magically change after publication?

    2. Me too re 1d. I had the checking letters so literally shifted across the answer from the 27a clue.

    3. I was OK with 1D as it was not an all in one clue and therefore required a ‘synonym’ or hint word at the beginning or end of the clue. This word was 27A.

  4. Unlike Chriscross, it was NW and SE that held out for me. I cannot believe that 26d is now an acceptable word. Shame.

    Definitely *** today.

    Many thanks to the setter and the K.

  5. Somehow this had a slightly different feel from Jay’s usual brain-teasers and I was immediately in tune and sailed through but loved every minute of it. Was sorry when it ended! The especially enjoyable clues included 9a, 10a, 4d, 6d, 18d, and 23d. I also enjoyed the unusually linked clues viz. 13a/29a and 27a/1d. Perhaps I wasn’t alone in initially mulling over another first word for 28a. Many thanks indeed Jay👏 for the fun and KiwiColin for being on hand as always.

  6. By the way, I’m not sure why my comment appears to be a reply to Chriscross, when I’m sure it was sent as an original posting?

  7. Last week’s Jay was completed comfortably within my 1* time. This week’s was well into 4* territory with the SW quarter holding me up considerably. I was, like JB, puzzled to see the answer to 1d appear in 27a but, otherwise, a fine puzzle as always. Thanks to Jay and to KiwiColin for his review.

  8. I found this relatively straightforward this morning. Didn’t think much of 1d given answer already in 27a. Had to confirm definition of 29a and convince myself on 26d. 10a was my favourite today. Thanks to all.

  9. I found this quite tricky for a Jay – mind you some of the extra time was spent staring at 1d and saying ‘surely not’ as the solution was in full sight in the clue referenced in 1d

    I second Rabbit Dave’s recommendations for the “Toughie” ( :roll: ) and the Indy Eccles

    Thanks to Jay and Colin

  10. Well I admitted defeat after ****time and consulted KiwiColin’s review for the answer to 11d. Even then the penny took a while to drop. The SE corner was the most troublesome for me with 22d my COTD.
    Thanks to the setter & KC for his review (needed also to parse 18d)

  11. Definitely more tricky than usual for a Wednesday puzzle, but still as enjoyable, which was completed at a fast canter – 2.5*/3.5*.
    Candidates for favourite – 30a, 6d, and 23d – and the winner is 23d.
    With reference to 18d – I have always understood (and dare I say confirmed by a Google search – https://www.aransweatermarket.com/history-of-aran-sweaters ) that the sweaters come from islands with a single R off the West coast of Ireland not the Scottish Island with 2 Rs.
    Thanks to Jay and the Single K.

  12. Fun puzzle apart from 1d: a bit strange to see the exact word twice.
    26d. Horrible but I’m an elderly pedant.
    Thanks for the hints and BD.

    1. Welcome to the blog Scott

      Perhaps it is because Arran is an island off the coast of Scotland and the Aran islands, where the sweaters are made, are off the coast of Ireland!

      1. Thanks, I always assumed they came from Arran. Everyday is indeed a school day!👍🏼😂

        1. It doesn’t help that these sweaters are often seen on fishermen types in films set in Scotland and yet I’ve never seen one in Father Ted….
          As far as I remember…
          I expect someone will have a good memory of knitwear vis a vis films.

    2. Welcome from me too Scott.
      It was my mistake in the hints. I have now corrected it to ‘an Irish island’.

  13. Quite a tough little number from Jay which took me far longer than usual to unravel, particularly the ‘surely not’ in 1d.
    Thought 10a was a rather clever spot for the setter and 6d made me laugh.

    Thanks to Jay and to our solo Kiwi – what a bad day for Carole to leave you to blog alone!

  14. Funnily enough I sailed though this today, much easier than yesterday. Look forward to trying the Toughie which I always find really difficult including yesterday’s which was supposed to be easy. No it wasn’t!! Thanks to all.

    1. I’ve spent over an hour on the Toughie and got just 8 answers so I think I will stick to the back page! Except, once again, ITS NOT ON THE BACK PAGE.

  15. On the whole an enjoyable puzzled but for me utterly ruined by 26d. Surely with the whole of the rich English language at hand setters don’;t have to sink to the level of gutter speak. Absolutely dreadful.
    A good crossword spoilt by a moment of darkness by the setter.
    Thx for the hints.

    1. Quite. I remember conducting a disciplinary interview with an employee. After she’d used the word for the umpteenth time my irritation got the better of me and I was unable to resist asking why she felt compelled to keep bringing an Eskimo into the conversation. It didn’t help matters……

      1. And that would have been a mispronunciation of said Eskimo Indigenous people as the ‘U’ in the middle is sounded.

  16. Totally agree about 26d. Took ages for 22d to occur to me. Simple when the penny drops. Took longer all round than usual. Also kept trying to fit acrid into 24a for some reason. Possibly just having a “stupid day”.

  17. I get the point about 26d in everyday life, but it was still nearly my favourite clue in this sometimes weirdly-clued puzzle. Such a nice and accurate surface, unlike some of the others.
    I didn’t need help, but it did take longer, as other people have mentioned. Thought it was just me. Thanks to Kiwi Colin anyway.

    I don’t think 24 is the same as bitter, either in an emotional sense, or, specifically, in a biological sense, but there we are…

    My actual favourite was 6d.

  18. Bit of a mixed bag, but still enjoyable. Favourite for me was 16a. In a penny drop moment I yelled out the answer and made my husband jump. I then explained to him how I arrived at the answer. He just doesn’t get how exciting it can be to work the clues out. Many thanks to Jay and to the One K this week.

  19. Please email me the crossword – imagine, a Jay puzzle and the DT is playing silly buggers, they say I need to subscribe and won’t accept my password. I’m so cross, why me, I’m so techie ignorant, I can’t wort this out.

    1. Merusa, I wish I could help you. I’m the one who wrote a couple of weeks ago with the same problem. Mr Kitty offered some advice that ultimately helped, though it took several days after that for WorldPay to accept my password, which they continued to change every time I submitted a new one. I finally hit upon the right one, and I’ve been re-connected now for four days. The Telegraph makes it as difficult as possible for those of us in the US to subscribe, and it took two months for someone in the Crosswords department to write me. You might remember me as the Liberal from Charleston? I wish you good luck in your tussle with the DT, who could learn how to handle such matters from The Guardian! (Perhaps Mr Kitty is listening?) Thanks again to all of you who offered your sympathies and cited the many difficulties you endured with the DT. Robert Clark

      1. Hi Merusa. I have had this problem before … maybe it is the same for you.

        There are two logins to the Telegraph: the Premium subscription and the Puzzles subscription.

        If you arrive at the https://puzzles.telegraph.co.uk/ page it loads a pop-up that welcomes you to Telegraph and asks if you’ve ever logged on before. If you answer Yes or No it takes you to “Do you have a Telegraph Account”. So you probably choose “Yes”… but it refers to the Premium Subscription, not the Puzzle Subscription!!!

        When you see the first Pop-up, close it using the X in top right-hand corner.You will then see the Login for puzzles again towards the top right-hand corner.

        Hope this helps.

        1. As I’m here I should comment. I found this a mixed back for difficulty but enjoyed it non the less. I don’t get to do the crosswords until late in the day at the moment as we are doing a very big prune on the olive trees this year and I have to do all the clearing up – logs and burning. So I usually get to the blog when everyone else has finished. Nver mind I may be back regularly in the late Spring.

          Thanks as always to Jay and 2Ks

        2. Exactly what I did, never realised that I was accessing the premium! I’ll follow your instructions and see what happens. Thanks a million!

      2. I know this is verboten, but what did you think of that imaginative SOTU address last night?

        1. You’re welcome … I don’t know why but my iPad keyboard is not giving me full stops or commas,

          Well I haven’t actually heard the SOTU address … until today we haven’t had tv here and I gave up listening to BBC radio years ago, we have installed the tv for house-sitters … can’t do with out … we have to pay for it anyway as here it is mandatory on the electric bill! still we’ll take a look at University challenge…

          1. My query re the SOTU address was supposed to be for Robert Clark. Like you, my iPad is doing very strange things. If you press the comma button and hold it for a second longer, it gives an exclamation mark, pressing the full stop longer gives you the question mark. Try just lightly tapping it.

            1. In one word, Merusa: garbage! Pelosi did to it exactly what it needed. Hope your DT woes are over. Robert

      3. The query re the SOTU address was supposed to be directed at you, but my iPad is playing up.

  20. A tricky one for me today – but the difficulty was compensated by some nice clues. A 4/4*.
    Thanks to J&K

  21. Coming to this later in the day I was mightily relieved to find that fellow commentators found this as tricky as I did. I cannot recollect a Jay puzzle being this challenging but it was as enjoyable as ever. As for picking a favourite – impossible. Stick a pin in.

    Thanks to both birds.

  22. No; it’s Fair Isle, with just the one R — Fairr Isle would look silly!

    (For a less facetious answer, see other comments above.)

  23. ****/***. The most difficult Wednesday puzzle I can remember. Very well clued apart from 1&26d which spoiled the fun. Thanks to Jay and KC especially for parsing 18d and 28a.

  24. Morning all.
    It is Waitangi Day here so everyone will be on holiday. Not that it makes much difference to retirees.
    So it was not just the solo solve that made this puzzle take a little longer than usual. That’s reassuring.
    Apologies for the error in my hint for 18d. It was completely new knowledge to me that there were different islands with slightly different spellings so I had not bothered checking when writing the hint. Learn something new every day.

    1. If I remember it was the Treaty of Waitangi with the Maoris? You wrote a nice little history whatsit last year!

  25. Thought I would never see the end of this.
    Definitely tougher than the toughie.
    11d last one in. Almost forgot about it until I spotted a white space in my crossword.
    Thanks to Jay and to Colin.

  26. Found this tricky ****/*** ☹️ Favourites 29a & 6d Had trouble with 18d 😬 Thanks to K n’ J

  27. Yes I agree it was difficult, even to open it was a struggle. Some very clever clues that once you got made you give an “agh, I see now” but I did not fill the grid easily or quickly.
    No favs just mental bruises!
    Thanks to Jay & KWColin for a well used review & hints.

  28. Does anyone else read the DT puzzles monthly newsletter?

    Some familiar names who failed to make the podium this month.

    With honourable mentions for Edward Wallhouse of North Grays; Gary Jones of South Molton, Devon; Professor Paul M. Cullis of Leicester; Sue Farr of Frome; Michael Callaghan of Egham; Jane Ainsworth of Beaumaris, Anglesey; and man of mystery, Mr Kitty, the podium places are as follows:

    1. I would love to get the puzzles newsletter but despite numerous attempts and the web site telling me I am on the list, it has only once appeared in our inbox.
      Perhaps I will have to ask someone who has our email address to forward it to us each month.

    1. How did this get down here – and they try to tell me that techie things are all based on logic?

  29. I enjoyed this and was pleasantly surprised that others also found this more difficult than usual for a Wednesday.

    26d is a horrible abomination that does not deserve validation by appearing in the DT crossword.

    Nevertheless, thanks to all.

  30. So relieved to see the *** difficulty rating, and to read that so many others found this tricky today. Some days I can do a Jay puzzle, and some days not, and this definitely fell into the not category. Didn’t feel like one of his, definitely a bit strange. Thanks to Kiwi Colin, whose hints I needed too early on. And have to agree with Brian re 26d, that one deserves a sad emoji. Awful word, and sorry to see it acknowledged here as part of the English language. Thanks to Jay anyway, as it did keep me busy for quite a while.

  31. Well – where do I start? Definitely tricky almost to the point of :phew:
    I think that most of what I was going to say has been said before.
    To begin with I doubted that this was a Jay crossword, if only because I think he is the master of Quickie puns and I didn’t think it was very good today.
    Never mind – here I go now.
    I admit to getting into a bit of a pickle with the connecting clues – something else that I don’t associate with Jay crosswords (the connecting clues rather than getting into a pickle)
    I did, just about, get there in the end but it was a bit of a battle.
    I’m not sure which, if any, clues stood out for me today so I’ll just leave it at that.
    With thanks to Jay (assuming that it is one of his) and to Kiwi Colin – a beastly one to sort out alone.

    1. I think the Quickie pun was my favourite today! (Well, apart from 8d in the Toughie, of course.)

  32. I love Jay puzzles, had to start late as I had difficulties downloading it, thank you Gazza, but I really enjoyed it. It was extremely tricky and I had to visit Kiwi Colin’s hints twice to get going again when I got stuck.
    I had problems in the SW, having the wrong answer in 24a, but I eventually sorted it.
    My picks for the fave stakes include 10a, 16a, 6d and 23d.
    Thanks to Jay and to Kiwi Colin for unravelling a few there.

  33. Very difficult in my book but then the Wednesday puzzle always is. Enjoyable though with some good clues.

    Thanks to Jay and the 1K.

  34. Much easier than yesterday for me, the south was considerably more difficult than the north.
    I didn’t really ‘get’ 19a, and 18d needed an explanation.
    Is 26d really a word?
    Thanks all.

  35. Having raced through the toughie I struggled through this but I sort of got there mostly wondering why I didn’t get the clue in the first place. That is all apart from 11d which everyone apart from me seems to have got with little difficulty. I had to scour the internet to find a teaching qualification that gave something resembling the answer drop. I got there in the end, but to be honest it took all the fun out of it for me. Hmmph.

  36. Agree with the comments regarding the puzzle being more taxing than the normal Wednesday fare. NE & SW were last areas to fall. Favourite clue 18d.
    Thanks to Jay for my tired brain and the Kiwis for the hints

  37. Very difficult. Needed half a dozen hints, so can’t claim completion.
    I trust there wasn’t much galloping or even cantering through this four or five star puzzle ?

    Thanks to Jay and KC for the much needed hints.

  38. Sorry, when I commented ‘Not alone’ I was referring to Angellov’s comment about 28a, had to take a hint there. I also regard the 1d/27a and the 26d clues as definitely not cricket.

  39. Late to this as I put it aside on the 5th and just picked it up to complete tonight. Harder than average and got myself in a mess in the SE corner. I was trying to justify MULL OVER for 28a and was looking for ‘something’ SEAT for 30a. Last to go in was 26d once those other two had been sorted with hints from here. I blame it on fatigue. Goodnight.

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